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Front office needs to shed contracts before extending Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

The New York Knicks will look to lock down their cornerstone player, Kristaps Porzingis, in the near future, but to do so, they’ll have to roll up their sleeves some more during this offseason.

The Knicks have until October to extend their 7-foot-3 unicorn a contract extension, but doing so would cost them $10 million in 2019 salary cap space — which only means more wood needs to be chopped before planting this tall tree.

The front office tandem of president Steve Mills and Scott Perry offered their willingness to get a deal done with Porzingis and his representatives, but know they have some work ahead of them before that can take place.

“We’ll continue to stay in touch with Kristaps,’’ Perry said, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. “He’s part of our long-term plan. We’ll figure out at the appropriate time in terms of when we get into that negotiation We’re comfortable where we are with him and we’ll work together with his representation to figure something out.’’

New York can still look to cut ties with Joakim Noah, who despite having a decent rapport with new coach David Fizdale, has run his course with the organization after vastly underperforming with this four-year, $72 million deal in 2016.

The Knicks are reportedly shooting to bring another max-level star in 2019, but they will need to clear the books by October to extend Porzingis, and do some more cleaning before the next trade deadline in hopes to pair him with another star. Yet Mills isn’t putting all his eggs in one basket just yet.

“Our goal is to build our team organically and around our young guys who were drafted by the team and to get better,’’ Mills said. “Our situation happens to be we will have cap room. But that’s not the goal we set out.

“Our primary goal is creating an environment that guys we’re drafting are getting better. We saw it as an opportunity to create space, bring a player in 2019 to add onto what we’re trying to do.’’

Porzingis will take priority over any other player as the team’s talisman, but only time will tell if this front office is able to work its magic and pair him with another star by next year.

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